By Bill Callison
As economic power continues to concentrate in fewer giant corporations and banks, working and living conditions continue to deteriorate. The Democratic Party mimics the Republican, in order to qualify for the same corporate funding. The working classes of all ethnic groups go virtually unrepresented as their futures are destroyed, and their earth, air, and water are poisoned by the same profit-driven economic system. To reverse the downward, rightward slide of America before it is too late, a leadership must emerge from the working class to create its own party, to represent its multicultural majority at the polls and to organize its inevitable confrontations with the insatiable appetite of capital.
THE ENEMY OF NATURE
On top of the economic-political crisis is a deepening global ecological catastrophe created by for-profit economics. Earthâ€™s life-supporting biosphere is failing. The oceans are in rapid decline. The ozone layer is still threatened. More nuclear, chemical and biological toxins saturate the environment, as do the living products of capitalismâ€™s reckless genetic engineering. Vital resources are being rapidly depleted. Global climate change is melting ice caps and raising ocean levels very rapidly. This is a life-and-death global crisis. It does not end the class struggle, but it gives it a new dimension and a far greater urgency. As the global monopolies relentlessly sacrifice the earth on the altar of profits, the working class and its leadership have the duty and the priceless opportunity to step forward and embrace the defense of earthâ€™s natural heritage as a principle of political organization.
THE WORKING CLASS IS THE CAPITAL-LESS CLASS
In a capitalist system, those who do not own capital usually survive by selling their labor power, in the form of a job, to those who do, or to some level of government. This group constitutes most of the working class. But a worker who loses a job does not change classes. It is not a â€˜jobâ€™, but a common subjection to the rule of capital, the necessity of living without capital in a capitalist world, that defines the common interests of workers. It is this common condition that forces us to unite POLITICALLY, lest we be devoured by the ECONOMIC power of capital, most especially when it is concentrated in a relative handful of global mega-corporations. Working class people of every kind, organized and unorganized, from the homeless to the highest paid union worker, have a vital interest in political unity against the power of capital.
THE PARTY WE NEED
The party we need unites the defense of the working class with defense of the biosphere. For workers, life is a swim with many sharks. Workers need a party that takes their side, and the side of the natural environment, in every struggle on every issue. This means an activist party that is organized to help workers unite in non-electoral as well as electoral campaigns. We need a party that studies history, opposes racism, sexism and other forms of special oppression, and builds class awareness, ecological awareness and unity.
This should be the basis for a PROGRAM of growth and action, an evolving plan of struggle on every front, including the unique front of elections. On that front, an electoral campaign may issue a PLATFORM, an election document, telling voters what our candidate(s) will do, if elected to office, to legislate for workers and for nature.
We need a principled convergence of the left and environmental forces to form a new party of multicultural working class/environmental unity. The electoral branch of that party would be dedicated to winning elections on a platform of defending the rights and interests of workers, and the integrity of the natural world, within the electoral system of government. Our campaigns should not fail to mention that the workersâ€™/environmental platform will be very beneficial to a third class of people who are neither capitalists nor workers. These are the self-employed, who apply their own labor to their own capital, and thus are neither employees nor bosses. Their political diversity notwithstanding, their interests in legislation and government overlap almost completely with those of the working class, and a working class/environmental party should remind them of that and court their votes as well.
The activist branch might well begin by immersing itself in the myriad of grassroots struggles taking place across America today and helping them to grow and unite. It should enable workers to meet, compare ideas, and learn from each other and from history. It should enable workers of varied ethnicities and lifestyles to meet in friendship and unity, and to form caucuses to ensure that their concerns are met in the policies and work of the party.
In summary, an extraordinary economic, political and ecological crisis calls on us to create a history-making party in the U.S., a party that unifies and defends our multi-cultural working class, fighting not only for ourselves but for the future of the earth and all its inhabitants.